Sinn Fein has highlighted housing stress in Derry as an issue they intend to address significantly 2015.
Local Sinn Fein councillors held a special meeting with Clanmill Housing Association recently to discuss the lack of sufficient social housing in the Derry City Council area.
Sinn Féin Councillors Colly Kelly, Tony Hassan, Kevin Campbell and Christopher Jackson met with Clanmill Housing Association representatives to highlight the social housing deficit in places like Creggan, Bogside, Brandywell and Waterside.
Speaking to the Journal following the meeting, Sinn Fein Colr. Colly Kelly described the size of the social housing problem in Derry as “massive”.
Clanmill Housing Association manages over 3,606 units of accommodation and has a turnover of £18.6 million.
“It was very important that this meeting took place,” said Colr. Kelly.
“We outlined to representatives of Clanmill Housing Association the massive problems in Derry and the need for hundreds of new social homes to be built to take the thousands of people off the waiting lists here.”
Colr. Kelly went on to highlight the work carried out by party colleague and fellow councillor, Tony Hassan.
“Our housing spokesperson, Tony Hassan, has been at the forefront particularly campaigning for movement at the H2 site on the Skeoge Road.
“We were able to feed back to Clanmill the housing needs we are dealing with in areas like the Bogside, Brandywell, Creggan and Waterside.
“We were also able to inform Clanmill about the effect that this ongoing problem is having on single people, families, older members of our community as they try to go about their lives on a day to day basis,” he said.
The issue of housing stress has been ever-present in Derry for decades and according to Colr. Kelly it is “crucial” that significant headway is made in 2015.
“It is crucial that we focus minds to tackle the issue of homelessness as we move into 2015.”